Continuing Education: Create Your Own Sound File


Create Your Own Sound File

While there are numerous sound file already available (see, users often want to create their own either because they have created their own personal POI file or just because they want to learn how to do it.

First, let’s talk about formats. Most poi-factory sound files are in the .mp3 format. This is because most of the first Garmin devices had .mp3 players built into the unit. Later, Garmin decided not to include .mp3 capability (perhaps because of licensing fees) and so those Garmin devices without .mp3 capability were unable to get sound alerts. Then, someone discovered that having a program called sox.exe in the same directory that held the “POI Loader.exe” file would allow .wav files to be processed by POI Loader. Later and the current versions of sox.exe fail to work, but the one that still does work may be found at

All Garmin users can use .wav files for sound (and some can use .mp3 files).

TomTom units (and I do not have one) can use, I understand, .ogg files for sound (see So, the process described here for a TomTom will involve first making a .wav file and then converting it to an .ogg file. TomTom owners will learn to do both below.

One of the easiest ways to create a personalized .wav file is to use
The use of this site is free.

Note: if you find that the voice tries to put two words too close together, experiment with putting a punctuation mark (like a comma) between them.

OK – now you have your first personal .wav file (mine said “Well, you have finally returned home”). But, you want (or need) another format – say an .ogg file.

There are several free programs that will convert one audio format to another. One that I have found to be useful is LameXP. It runs under Win2K / WinXP / Vista / Win7. You can download a ZIP file from
How to extract:
Extract to a folder of your choice
Rename the LameXP.exe to LameXP-Portable.exe
Launch LameXP-Portable.exe

Following this procedure involving “Portable” means that LameXP will not write anything to your Windows Registry.

NOTE: I find that opening LameXP takes a bit longer to get a “Splash Screen” than most programs – so be patient when you first open it.

The steps to convert from one audio format to another audio format are as follows.

Step 1 – Select the file to convert
1.1: Click on the “Add Files” button (lower left of dialog)
1.2: Navigate to the folder containing the file; highlight the file; then, click the “Open” button and let LameXP import the file

Step 2 – Choose the Output Directory
2.1: Click on the “Output Directory” tab
2.2: Near the bottom of the Dialog, check the “Save output files to the same location…” box

Step 3 – Choose the output format
3.1: Click on the “Compression” tab
3.2: Click the radio button for the desired output format

Step 4 – Encode the file
4.1: Click the “Encode Now!” button at the bottom left of the dialog.
4.2: LameXP will convert the file and give you a pop-up telling you it has completed.

It is suggested that you now go to the directory containing the input and output audio files and play both of them.

If you are going to use POI Loader to create a sound alert for one of your POIs, remember that (for Garmin users) the name of the .csv/.gpx file and the name of the .wav/.mp3 file must be identical on the left side of the extension.

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Change History

  • jgermann - Dec 2, 2016
    12/02/2016 corrected link

  • jgermann - Aug 21, 2015
    08/21/2015 substituted new text to speech program

  • jgermann - May 3, 2014
    5/3/2014 added how to tweak speed of voices